Empty Rome, an Eternal City absent of traffic and chaos is something we’ve dreamed of. For a few brief moments in my life, I’ve been lucky to stumble into almost silent and empty city. A brisk early morning walk home from Piazza di Spagna to Campo de’ Fiori in February and a late night stroll in Trastevere during Ferragosto – the city’s side streets turn back in time to De Sica neorealism– empty, alone and beautiful. These are fleeting moments of a yesteryear Roma, eventually betrayed by contemporary life and its soundtrack of laughter, shouting, arguments and horns.
During Italy Lockdown, Rome, like almost every city, was silenced. Doors were closed, residents stayed inside, and the pace of a frenetic city had slowed down to a faint beat. There was no more traffic, no more tourists and no more street side chatter. The only movement was the unchoreographed ballet of the delivery bikes, scooters and cars passing below our apartments, and the occasional sound was the chirping of birds or the barking of a dog. Disconcertingly beautiful and truly eternal, these past few months living in the historic center has never been and will most likely be like no other moment in time.
Since March 2020, I’ve been out in the city taking photos of Empty Rome – from its side streets to your favorite pizze, capturing the eerie quietude and the beauty of La Città Eterna.
Explore the empty streets and piazzas of Rome in a video collaboration with Darius Arya and Erica Firpo.